Biden's Bizarre 'Where's Jackie' Gaffe May Be Final Nail in the Coffin for 2024 Run


I’d come to the conclusion, in the months preceding the 2020 election, that Joe Biden was immune to the things that dropped from his mouth.

I knew this because I’d seen the campaign unfold in real time as part of my job and saw almost every gaffe. I heard him assure an audience in Iowa that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids” and tell America during a debate that the way to solve institutional segregation was leaving “the record player on at night.”

When it came to his opponent, then-President Donald Trump0, he told the hosts of a black-centric morning radio show in May 2020 that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump then you ain’t black.”

It wasn’t just racial issues, either; when Trump said, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, that lockdowns shouldn’t be allowed to turn into a “cure” that’s worse than the disease itself, this was Biden’s response:

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“We have to take care of the cure. That will make the problem worse, no matter what. No matter what.” If he was referring to the band behind hits like “Friday I’m in Love,” mission accomplished: The mope-rock group is currently touring Europe, so it looks like we’ve made it. If he wasn’t referring to them — and I don’t think he was — you try to make sense of that word jumble.

But that’s the thing — none of it seemed to hurt him. He still got the Democratic nomination, despite the surprising strength of Bernie Sanders. He still became president. His poll numbers were initially good. When they tanked, it had more to do with concrete harms to the American people — the border crisis, inflation, crime — than the fact Biden, mentally, came across as a wearied, battered boxer fighting his last bout, and very poorly to boot.

A new poll, however, indicates America may have finally found the Biden gaffe that broke the camel’s back: “Where’s Jackie?”

Do you think Biden is mentally fit enough to be president?

Indiana GOP Rep. Jackie Walorski was supposed to be one of the members of Congress at the Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health at the White House last month. She’d done significant work on the issue and the president, bipartisan man that I’m sure he believes himself to be, wanted to recognize her efforts.

“Representative Jackie,” he began scanning the audience for her as he was thanking legislators who worked on the conference. “Where’s Jackie? She must not be here.”

Rep. Walorski died in a car crash, along with two aides, on Aug. 3.

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In fact, as Politico’s Meredith Lee Hill noted, a tribute video was set to play for Walorski at the very conference where the president was looking for her.

Square that with an Issues and Insights/TIPP poll released Monday, in which 64 percent of voters described themselves as “concerned” about the president’s mental health — including 52 percent of Democrats.

That last number is the big one. A previous poll I&I/TIPP poll in August found 59 percent were concerned about his mental health, but only 39 percent of Democrats.

The online poll was taken between Oct. 5-7 among 1,376 adults across the country. While it has a margin of error of 2.8 points, the increase in concern is statistically significant — particularly on the left.

Moreover, the poll was taken the week following Biden’s “Where’s Jackie?” moment. Correlation isn’t causality, but it isn’t insignificant, either. While one could note other Biden mental lapses took place between August and October, these were garden-variety Bidenisms, the kind that happen on days that end in Y and usually at least twice.

Looking for a dead member of Congress at a White House event is hardly garden-variety. And the facts that her death made national news and the White House had released a statement supposedly from Biden himself about the tragedy just made it all the more bizarre — and disturbing.

Biden and the White House have repeatedly avouched that the president plans to run in 2024; this is in spite of the fact Biden barely huffed and puffed across the line in a 2020 campaign that was primarily virtual and conducted, for many months, from his Wilmington, Delaware, basement.

Barring another pandemic on a scale of COVID-19, in 2024, there will be no more basement interviews, no more Zoom events, no more short speeches in front of a few dozen cars at socially distanced “drive-in” campaign events. Both of the top Republican potential candidates — former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — have demonstrated that they aren’t short on energy.

What’s more, neither has publicly demonstrated they can’t remember who’s alive and who’s dead.

Even before any 2024 contest, voters have a chance to weigh in this November on whether Congress will have the ability to check an executive branch where the guy in charge doesn’t seem to be in compos mentis.

Biden himself may not be on the ballot in 2022 — but if voters don’t trust his mental health, why would they trust a Democratic Party that has consistently enabled his worst instincts?

Reading too much into one poll is a dangerous thing. That said, this one could well be an early sign there may perhaps be a limit to America’s tolerance of the president’s diminishing mental returns as just another case of funny Uncle Joe getting all mixed up again.

It could be the final nail in the coffin for any plans he has to run in 2024.

Mind you, the tolerance limit should have been reached years ago — I thought at the time that the “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids” moment would surely do him in, but anyone who thought he was fit for office after the “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” incident in early 2020 was simply delusional.

That said, better the scales fall late from the nation’s eyes than never. This is a dulled, tired man who should have never been near the presidency.

The more that Americans do to insulate the country from the consequences now that he’s taken up residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the better.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture